THE Andrews Labor Government says it’s “wasting no time” delivering a Commission of Inquiry into the South Gippsland Shire Council.

Minister for Local Government Adem Somyurek today (Wednesday, May 15) announced the members and terms of reference for the Commission of Inquiry into South Gippsland Shire Council.

The Honourable Frank Vincent AO QC, a former Supreme Court judge, will chair the Commission and be joined by two other Commissioners with significant experience in local government:

  • Julie Eisenbise, a former mayor and councillor at Manningham City Council between 1997 and 2005; and
  • John Watson, a former senior public servant with more than four decades experience across both local and state government.

The terms of reference will see the Commission look into the behaviours of individual councillors, the process of hiring the Acting CEO, and the efficiency and effectiveness of governance arrangements in delivering services to the community.

The Local Government Act 1989 provides the Commissioners with broad ranging powers including summoning witnesses, requiring the production of documents and full access to the council and its documents.

The Commissioners will determine how to conduct the inquiry, which will include some public proceedings, and will deliver a final report to the Minister by Friday, May 31.

The Commission’s report will be tabled in Parliament.

“The South Gippsland community is right to expect a Council that is focused on its needs,” said Minister for Local Government, Adem Somyurek.

“The Commission of Inquiry will help ensure South Gippsland Shire returns to a position of stability so it can effectively govern and deliver for its ratepayers.

“Like the South Gippsland community, I look forward to the expert advice of the Commission.”